Approach

There’s always going to be difficult moments to face in life. The way most of us react to those moments is the way of the animal. That is, we instinctively succumb to the path of least resistance and let our emotions flood our consciousness. In short, we flip out. The harder way is usually a lot more productive, but energy consuming. We have the option of meeting hardships gracefully and composed, aware of the feelings they arose but in control.

This is, of course, extremely difficult.

via Daily Prompt: Elegance

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Alcohol

Perception is somethiing strange and disputable because each and every person has their own perception of things. Some of us try to explore different perspectives and point oif views. For me books have been a way of living multiple lives and learning about the ppount of view of others. For others, I believe, trying to change their brain chemistry with different substances is what helped them get a new perspective. I need to analise and understand and having strangers in my blood stream does not help me think and form a logical road from a to b. I mean logical in the sense that there’s always a reason wht people do things and even if that erason is stupid, it does not mean that it’s not logical for the person acting upon it.

It is monstly artists who use this alteration of chemistry to change their perspective and get creative. This might be because of the fact that as an artist you get bored of expressing the same ideas and a trip night be a good source of inspiration or just a release from the incessant, constant, unbearable knowledge that people don’t actually get what you are trying to day. Or maybe they get it, but they don’t care and they just keep on going, like what you just revealed to them as the source of their unhappiness is not relevant to their existance. That hurts. Like the bear who cried wolf over and over again and nobody listened to him, even tho he was right each time.

It might be that what I mean to say is that it is baffeling and dumbfounding or some other adjective, that no matter how much people are told and warned about their predicaments, they still won’t listen on do something because that is more comfortable. It is easy to keep on going with your life as you know it than make a change. We are all creatures of habbit and we all have our patters and comforts that we are not willing to give up unless something immediate demands it.

If it feels like these paragraphs have no sense even more than what I usually post, well thay is because I am just about to finish my second cup of wine. Yes, I know I am a lightweight and I don’t care. As usual, my perspective is not improved or changed. Everything just seems further away phiscally and rushed mentally. I have been laughing quite a lot though, as I usually do while consuming alcohol, but we’ll see what future me has to say about that tomorrow

Safe

Teddy had slipped away and fallen to the floor during the night as the little girl tossed and turned in her sleep. In the morning she reached for him from under the warm blanket and pulled him in a hug at her chest. Just a little bit more and mum would come for the second tine to wake her up. This one was for real.

She slowly opened her eyes to the familiar room littered with toys, crayons and her drawings. Most of the drawings were of Teddy having tea, picking flowers, riding a horse or a bike, going to work or the bank. He already knew how to do all those things so she knew that he’d teach her as well. They had breakfast together with the parents and she made sure he had a comfortable place on the couch before leaving for kindergarden.

In the afternoon, after she got home, it was play time. She told Teddy everything she had done that day with the other children, what they ate, who cried and who broke what toys. That was why Teddy didn’t go with her to kindergarden. Her first day there one of the bigger girls tried to take Teddy away from her and he almost got broken. Home was safe from other children. Teddy had his own schedule anyway, taking karate lessons, going to cooking class, learning how to knit and sow and finding out trade secrets of security experts because his job was to teach her these things and keep her safe. She just always felt sure that nothing bad could happen to her while Teddy was around.

The weekend came and dad took her to see grandma and grandpa. He dropped her off and went back to wait for the workers who had to fix some pipes in the bathroom. She had tea with grandma and Teddy and while he was taking a nap, grandpa showed her a few more notes on the piano. He had been a music teacher and they always practiced when she visited. All four of them had dinner and desert was Teddy’s favorite- cherry pie. Then it was time to go home.

They were only a few houses away when she noticed the red lights flickering outside of her house. There were people going in and out of the house and their neighbors were gathered around their freshly trampled lawn. Those weren’t plumbers that came. They used pipes alright, but made mum and dad’s blood drip from them, rather than water. The little girl clutched her toy to her chest as she felt something inside her wailing with pain, though her brain did not fully understand it. Turns out everything bad could happen at any time.

The One(s)

Perfect symmetry. Two hands reaching for one goal, working together in harmony. You feel blessed and secure in a perpetual haze of happiness. There’s no need to explain yourself and everything flows in a soft, unperturbed rhythm as you’ve proven the whole world that they are wrong because you have found the one. You never thought that life will bring you here. This is the highest peak of happiness you’ve ever encountered and no matter what, you are not going back into the ugly world of before.

Reality hits, though. You’re right back where you started and ready to go through it all again. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. If everything in life is a cycle why not relationships as well? Why do your best to actually get to know someone to their core and appreciate them for what they are? You can oscillate between fully blown limerence and desperate loneliness grasping for something new until it’s too late. Until all the good ones have seemingly gotten away and whoever is next in the chain is suddenly the best through the simple fact of their presence. Not that you’d actually get to actually know them. The version in your head is more than enough.

Until it isn’t. But that’s not your fault, is it now?

Repeat

Looking around I’ve been noticing the striking rhythm of society that everybody is engaged in and complacent with. I never noticed that while I was in school because my daily schedule was changing every four months or so. Being part of the workforce has introduced me to this constant beat of the city I live in. This incessant drum-roll of our lives seems as inescapable as the death that it leads us towards.

Morning- work- lunch- home- repeat.

Morning- work- lunch- home- repeat.

Morning- work- lunch- home- repeat.

Morning- work- lunch- home- repeat.

Morning- work- lunch- home- repeat.

Weekend fun and friends.

Weekend peace and quiet.

Repeat * n.

It has been drumming away on the edge of my psyche and it’s getting harder and harder to bear the realization that if left unchecked and undirected it has the power of rendering my life meaningless. The inertia it has gathered keeps the world hinged on the same track, going slowly towards nowhere. And we’re going the same way.

via Daily Prompt: Percussive

Sax Symbol

If you take the second street to the right on the main street coming down from the big theatre building in town and leave the traffic noise behind, you might just hear the labored notes of a saxophone emanating from the fifth door on the left. If that is the case, then it might mean that it’s Friday night. Or just another random night in the week when the small tavern had no entertainment and the performer had nothing better to do.

On this particular Friday or random evening the artiste and his usual wine-sipping cohort were not the only inhabitants of the small venue. The two of us were there too. Miss Poe has a background in music, I am a complete know-it-all and neither of us makes for a particularly forgiving audience. Our luck, or his, was that we were situated close to the exit and separated by a brick wall from the room where he was playing.

Going back to when he was warming up and preparing his instrument for the act, Miss Poe urged me to wait for the real performance before making a judgement. I had taken a look at our fleeting subject of conversation when he came in and while responding to the lingering look he addressed me with a raised eyebrow, I recognized in him that kind of fear that is usually masked with an unconvincing, crumbling layer of confidence.

The practiced kind, learned from youtube videos and click-bait articles: 13 ways of gaining self- confidence that everybody is keeping away from you (because you are so important that we’re all going around trying to get you down, you unbelievable force of nature). Looking at him I could tell that the simple mention of his receding hairline or scrawny legs would have made his now elongated forehead sweat and voice break.

Miss Poe sometimes has the habit of giving people the benefit of the doubt only so she could double down on them even harder afterwards. So we were waiting. Is there a word in English for when your expectations of being disappointed in something are not disappointed? He started with some syrupy cover of an 80’s romantic song that all participants to the menstrual cycle are supposed to instantly melt down at the sound of.

Due to the kidney filtration of the hot chocolate I’d been working on, the need arose of using the toilet right between the acts. When rushing out and heading for my place across Miss Poe, the focus of this text turned to me in the middle of his conversation. ‘The song is really accomplished and appreciated’ (turns) ‘because it really speaks to our souls about the true meaning of love.’ I stopped and looked at him with my left eye twitching.

He had this crooked smile on his face like he was so proud of what he had just said, as if he was the first person on earth to think of that, or the first person I had heard spew out a lie like that. ‘Unless there’s no soul to speak to’ I replied, ‘Mine, for example has been devoured by a trinity of druid priests in exchange for a management job in their M.L.M. Medical and dental included, plus I don’t work weekends and legal national holidays.’

Let him think I’m crazed

The surprise will be greater

When my imps take him.

Satellite 020c- V

She felt the slight change in pressure as the doors to the exit cabin opened. The transfer to the departure pods was always such an annoyance, but you could never find all the luxury brands on any of the secure satellite communities. This only added to her already sour mood. How difficult can it be to maintain an even temperature in one shopping complex? You could feel the 2°C difference between the food court and the jeweler’s, which was absolutely ridiculous, considering the kind of currency that flowed through this place on a daily basis.

‘Sanitized transfer suit ready. Please refer to the screen to your left for usage instructions. In case of need for further assistance, pressing the mauve button next to the screen will summon a transfer assistant.’

The message ended with a sonorous three note chime as a drawer on her right popped open with the sterile white transfer suit prepared. The most frustrating thing about this whole thing was that after a whole day of shopping for the best instant- tailored couture, luxury fragrances and hand- crafted jewelry, she had to wear that odiously fitting suit for the journey home.  You could barely tell  a woman from a man and the helmet made it impossible for any proper hairstyle to survive. This, even after so many complaints submitted to ISTI (Inter Satellite Travel Institution) from so many dissatisfied travelers and them still throwing safety regulations in their professionally exfoliated faces.

As usual she would be having trouble with her boots, as they needed to be fastened after the suit jumpsuit and decided, as most did, to call for help. Caught up in pulling the suit straps as tight as possible- you never know when you’re gonna run into someone important and even just showing a superb figure was worth the struggle- she pressed the green, ready for eject button on the screen. As the cabin doors stared to open, she froze in place. Mind blank. Muscles tensed. Time slowed as her brain denied what was about to happen.

ISTI had a 0% mortality rate for their transport between satellites. This was because of their tight security measures that encompassed machinery, suits, software and personnel. As soon as the green button was pressed, the door scanners checked for the suit completion sensors and passenger’s vitals. Without a positive response from those, the doors didn’t move.

As the senior attendant entered the cabin to check on their passenger, he came over the distressed young lady crouched in the fetal position beneath the control screen. Her forehead on her knees and arms wound tight around her legs exposed a brown stain spreading around her behind.

Mercy

I was watching a documentary about a generation of children in China left behind by their parents going to work in other provinces. As the reporter was pressing a young child to answer uncomfortable questions about his parents, I found myself empathizing with him while remembering teachers who used to press the same buttons, asking me about my mum being away. They did this for the same reason I am tearing up while watching the video. To feel sorry for someone in a difficult situation. That is all.

Actually, that’s not all. When we feel sorry of have mercy for someone the only thing that happens is that we end up feeling so good about ourselves.  Nothing productive ever comes from having mercy on someone- these kinds of feelings are difficult for the human mind to maintain at high levels over a long period of time. They diminish fast, taking our motivation to do good with them. Impact comes from ambition and a strong ethic drive towards equality for all. Mercy is selfishness.

The undeniable truth of daddy issues

I’ve been circling around this for a while now, I believe. A few days ago I was telling a friend to not have the relationship her parents are having and in the past weeks I’ve been pondering the effect that the behavior of the adults I grew up around has had on me. What I’ve come to realize is that no matter how much I try to deny my father’s influence, I can never remove his presence from my childhood and I can never alter the relationship that my subconscious has been using as the normal point of reference.

I never had a pleasant relationship with my father and ever since I started having romantic relationships, I did my best to avoid the things I despised most about him- alcoholism, religious extremism, violence, hypocrisy, a propensity for emotional manipulation and other damaging kinds of behavior. Despite this I never managed to hold on to a relationship for more than a few months. Some fell apart because of lack of chemistry or life getting in the way, but the most significant presented a mystery I’m only unraveling now, 9 months after the last man I loved disappeared out of my life.

The piece of puzzle that fell into place the other day, while I was sitting at my desk with another 15 people around me going about their day like it was just another Monday, is that no matter how far away from my father I run, the relationship dynamic we had will be something I can never escape. I learned to form relationships from my parents the same way I learned other behaviors like saying hello when I walk into a room, like I learned to talk from them and use a spoon and eat bread with apples. And so my romantic relationships and their sudden ends are now shining in a brighter light that has been a long time coming.

Because I have made a habit of analyzing myself and the people that I surround myself with, I noticed patterns in the relationships I am talking about and I remember asking myself, since I am choosing such different people to get involved with, why did we keep falling into the same patters? Since I was choosing such different people, why was I always the one who ended up giving as much as possible and being as available as possible to understand them and support them, but being afraid to ask for the same in return. I am not even exaggerating here, I am honestly afraid to ask for something when I am romantically involved with someone, because it makes me feel like an unwelcome guest imposing on them and being a burden. It’s not their job to take care of me. I have a hard time receiving gifts from boyfriends, even if it’s something I need, because I feel it would take away from my independence and leave me in debt to them.

I always thought that this is just my neurotic need to be self- sufficient and independent, but get this- when I was young my mother was the one who would take my sister and me shopping and after she had to go work abroad if I asked my father for money for almost anything, I would always get the same answer- I don’t have money for that. He rarely paid attention to me or my sister, and the few happy memories I have of him are from before I started school and they are few and far between. We weren’t even allowed to laugh in the house sometimes because he was working nights and he had trouble sleeping- bare in mind that I was a child who did not understand what it meant to stay up all night working. He was never interested in us as people he could get to know as we were there to fulfill the roles of children in the patterned life he thought he was supposed to have. In return for all this he of course asked for respect, obedience, understanding and forgiveness without apologies (unless I was the one apologizing) whenever his drinking binges ended up in bruises and clumps of hair pulled out of our heads.

This was the norm for us.

For the longest time I’ve been trying to think of it like it’s not such a big deal because so often you hear of things so much worse than this. Child- bride. Orphaned. Sold. I’ve been telling myself that I should look on the bright side because not having a perfect and sheltered childhood has made me into a responsible adult who is self- aware, adaptable, capable and tough, capable of taking care of herself. Of course I never felt comfortable with someone else taking care of me. Of course I am attracted to arrogant and cold men who love the sound of their own voices so much they are not interested to what someone else has to say. I am capable of taking hit after hit, stand up, kick back and take another punch any day of the week. But, as hard as it is for me to admit, I am not capable of letting others take care of me. I will never break down around someone else the way I do when I am on my own because I cannot allow anyone else to be the one picking up the pieces and putting them back together. I need to do things for myself and that is good only up to a point.

That point needs to move.

Now I understand why the men in my life felt it was okay to ask so much of me and give so little. As Alain de Botton puts it so well: we’re out to find partners who will feel familiar and familiar comes from the first experiences we have. I know now why I had such a had time making a point for myself when all the arguments I was making were completely valid, but I was wrong anyway. My default position was in the wrong because I was allowing myself to be put there. I’ve been broken up with through a text and kicked out of an apartment while trying to comfort a certain selfish jerk because I allowed them these kinds of behaviors, after all I can take it because I’m though and independent, right?

But why should I?

It’s taken me almost 6 years to ask this question and realize- I don’t have to just take it. Just because not having a sheltered childhood made me capable of surviving emotional trauma does not mean that that’s all I should be doing. I am happy I finally got to know this about myself because knowledge is power. I am now giving myself the power to do better, to ask for what’s mine. The next difficult part of this will be giving up the idea that if somebody loves me, they should and will think of me and my needs as much as theirs, because that’s just not how most people work. You sometimes have to remind them that that should be part of their behavior. Another big question mark is if I can be attracted to someone who is balanced, willing to be nurturing and patient enough to hear me out and help me break my pattern.

I am honestly scared of the answer.

You might be reading this and thinking that all that I’m saying is obvious and simple, but to me it really feels like a revelation. I’ve been looking at this from the wrong perspective for a really long time. No matter how much I tried, I could not figure out what was going wrong. After my last break-up something inside me would not let me move on to the next relationship. I’ve been feeling myself being pulled in this direction by my internal monologue that has been unraveling in the past few months. My difficulties in reaching this point is, like so many other things, exquisitely explained in a single quote in Dune– it’s a human trait that when we encounter personal problems, those things most deeply personal are the most difficult to bring out for our logic to scan. This only leaves me to wonder what else is there to face within myself?